Sept. 10 | Noon CT | Norman, Okla.
|2017 STATISTICAL COMPARISON|
NORMAN —The Oklahoma soccer team returns home for a Sunday afternoon match against Illinois at noon CT at the OU Soccer Complex.
Sunday’s match will air through Sooner Sports TV on FOX College Sports Atlantic and Fox Sports Oklahoma as well as the FOX Sports Go app. Chad McKee and former OU soccer player Molly Ritchie will call the action, and Megan McDonald will be on the sidelines. The matches will also air on KREF radio (99.3 FM, 1400 AM).
For the second straight weekend, the Sooners will face a team for the first time. All-time, Oklahoma is 37-57-4 in the first meeting with a team. This season, OU is 0-1 facing new teams after a 1-0 loss to Boise State. The Sooners have two more first-time meetings this season, travelling to Cal and the University of San Francisco next weekend.
The Sooners traveled to Boise, Idaho, dropping a pair of closely contested matches with Oregon and Boise State. Against Oregon, the Sooners were upended by a goal in the 89th minute. On Sunday facing Boise State, OU played a man down after Paige Welch was issued a red card in the 35th minute. The Broncos would score in the 61st minute and an OU goal in the 83rd was negated by a foul to give Boise the win.
The Sooners Aug. 27 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane was not only the first golden goal victory of the season, but also the first win of 2017. Oklahoma struggled offensively through the first three games, tallying just 23 total shots over three games. Against Tulsa, the Sooners notched a season-best 26 shots, nine on goal. OU was aggressive from the beginning, recording 13 shots in the first half alone.
SOONERS PICKED THIRD
OU has been picked third in the Big 12 Soccer Preseason Poll in a vote of conference coaches. This matches the highest preseason Big 12 ranking in program history for the Sooners, with the 2016 squad also claiming third.
West Virginia was picked as the unanimous selection to win the league. Kansas was selected to finish second, and Texas Tech was tabbed fourth. Baylor, Oklahoma State, and TCU were next at fifth, sixth and seventh, while Texas and Iowa State claimed eighth and ninth. Kansas State, which enters its first season as a member of the Big 12 soccer league, rounded out the preseason poll in tenth.
WELCH NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
Oklahoma junior defender Paige Welch was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Soccer Team on Aug. 9. The Austin, Texas, native has started all 41 games she has played in as a Sooner. In her two first two seasons, Welch has helped OU to 17 shutouts. Welch owns three career goals, all game winners. Her 12th-minute goal against SMU in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament helped the Sooners advance during last year’s postseason run.
The Illini are in the midst of a seven-game road stretch, coming off back-to-back road wins last weekend. Five different players have scored this season as the Illini return their top two goal-scorers from 2016. At 3-3-0 on the season, the Illini are coming off wins over Evansville and Miami (OH). Illinois had three players named to the Big Ten Conference Preseason Honors List: Kara Marbury, Katie Murray and Morgan Maroney. Arianna Veland leads the team with two goals on just four shots. In goal, Jaelyn Cunningham has recorded 29 saves while allowing nine goals.
The Sooners will hit the road for a pair of matches in California. OU will face the University of California on Friday, Sept. 15, at 3:30 p.m. CT before heading to the University of San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 17, for a 3 p.m. CT game.